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Tubular silver mezuzah saved with a hidden Dutch Jewish infant

Object | Accession Number: 2002.140.3

Silver mezuzah used by Abraham Hartog Reiss in Amsterdam. The mezuzah and his other religious articles were hidden with his infant granddaughter Vera Reiss. According to the Torah, every doorpost in a Jewish home should display a mezuzah, a parchment scroll with two chapters from Deuteronomy, including the Shema, a central prayer of Judaism. The scroll is put in a case to fasten it to the right doorpost. It serves as a reminder of the covenant of faith and a notice of an observant Jewish home. Vera was born in March 1942 in German occupied Amsterdam. That summer, the Germans began mass deportations. In July, Vera’s father Salomon allowed himself to be arrested, to spare his wife Sophie and Vera from deportation. Sophie and Vera went into hiding with Sophie’s cousin Cato and then were hidden separately. Vera was taken in by Hermanus and Huberta Van Pelt in Baarn, clients of Abraham's textile business. Sophie assumed a false identity as a housekeeper. On May 5, 1945, the Netherlands was liberated and Vera was reunited with her mother. Abraham and his wife Vrouwtje were killed in Auschwitz on December 7, 1942. Vera’s father was killed in Auschwitz in February 1943. Most of Vera’s large extended family was murdered in the Holocaust.

use:  before 1942
use: Amsterdam (Netherlands)
use: Baarn (Netherlands)
Jewish Art and Symbolism
Object Type
Mezuzah (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Vera Waivisz-Reiss
Record last modified: 2023-09-01 09:00:08
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